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History Of The No. 6 Overall Pick In The NHL Draft

We look back at other notable players taken in the draft slot that Vegas will pick in this June

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Saturday didn't exactly go according to plan for the Golden Knights.

With hockey operations analyst Tom Poraszka filling in for general manager George McPhee - who experienced travel difficulties that prevented him from attending the team's first Draft Lottery - there was still optimism that Vegas may win the chance to pick first overall.

After all, entering the night with the league's third best odds (10.3%) of winning the lottery, landing the top pick was a distinct possibility for Vegas.

RELATED: Golden Knights to pick sixth in the NHL Draft

But while some may take the news of the team picking sixth as a disappointment, history has shown that there could be far worse slots to pick.

Peter Forsberg, Paul Coffey and Phil Housley, all Hall of Famers, were taken in this position.

And after all, those picks turned out pretty darn good.

Although we won't know who the Golden Knights will take in this spot until June 23, let's look back at other notable picks to be taken at No. 6.

Year: 2016
Team: Calgary Flames

Matthew Tkachuk: No. 6 picks usually become elite NHLers, but perhaps nobody taken in this slot in recent years has found more immediate success than Matthew Tkachuk. The son of former NHL star Keith Tkachuk, Matthew Tkachuk immediately jumped into the Flames' lineup this season, registering 48 points and 105 penalty minutes. In the process, Tkachuk also established himself as one of the most difficult young forwards to play against in the league.

 

Watch: Youtube Video

 

Year: 2015
Team: New Jersey Devils

Pavel Zacha: A strapping Czech center, Zacha is widely seen as the New Jersey Devils' first-line center of the future. After playing most of the season following his draft year in junior (he had a brief call up to the NHL), Zacha established himself as an NHL regular this past season, playing in 70 games as a teenager.

Year: 2014
Team: Vancouver Canucks

Jake Virtanen: A polarizing figure amongst the Canucks fan base, Virtanen's career has yet to have gained much definition in the three years since he was drafted. After establishing himself as a regular in the Canucks' lineup for most of last season, Virtanen spent most of this past season with the AHL's Utica Comets.

Year: 2013
Team: Calgary Flames

Sean Monahan: Another example of a No. 6 pick who immediately became an impact player in the NHL, Monahan scored 22 goals for the Flames the year after he was drafted, and is now a cornerstone player for Calgary.

Year: 2012
Team: Anaheim Ducks

Hampus Lindholm: Another team which acquired perhaps its best defensemen with the No. 6 pick was the Anaheim Ducks, who selected Hampus Lindholm in 2012. Lindholm, who excels both offensively and defensively, is also an anchor of the Swedish national team.

Year: 2011
Team: Ottawa Senators

Mika Zibanejad: Zibanejad is an example of a player who broke into the NHL within a year of being drafted No. 6 in 2011, who took a few years to develop into an impact player. Zibanejad is, however, now a regular 20-goal scorer. Now a New York Ranger, he's anchoring his team's second line in the Second Round of the playoffs against the Ottawa Senators.

 

Watch: Youtube Video

 

Year: 2010
Team: Tampa Bay Lightning

Brett Connolly: Connolly is an example of a No. 6 pick who has had difficulty transitioning his game to the NHL level. However, despite never finding his game in Tampa Bay or with the Boston Bruins, Connolly did score a career best 15 goals this season with the Washington Capitals.

Year: 2009
Team: Phoenix Coyotes

Oliver Ekman-Larsson: One of the most often underrated players in the league, Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been the Coyotes' best player since almost the first day he put on an NHL uniform in 2011-12.

Year: 2008
Team: Columbus Blue Jackets

Nikita Filatov: Filatov never panned out at the NHL level, although he's now a consistent scorer in the Kontinental Hockey League. He had 19 goals and 21 assists in 57 games with Tolyatti Lada this season. He only had six goals and eight assists in 53 career NHL games with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators.

Year: 2007
Team: Edmonton Oilers

Sam Gagner: Immensely talented, Gagner's career has been filled with highs in lows. Breaking into the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers, Gagner had a rare eight-point game in 2011-12, and enjoyed a renaissance by putting up 50 points with the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.

 

2006: Derick Brassard (Columbus Blue Jackets)
2005: Gilbert Brule (Vancouver Giants)
2004: Al Montoya (New York Rangers)
2003: Milan Michalek (San Jose Sharks)
2002: Scott Upshall (Nashville Predators)
2001: Mikko Koivu (Minnesota Wild)
2000: Scott Hartnell (Nashville Predators)
1999: Brian Finley (Nashville Predators)
1998: Rico Fata (Calgary Flames)
1997: Daniel Tkaczuk (Calgary Flames)
1996: Boyd Devereaux (Edmonton Oilers)
1995: Steve Kelly (Edmonton Oilers)
1994: Ryan Smyth (Edmonton Oilers)
1993: Viktor Kozlov (San Jose Sharks)
1992: Cory Stillman (Calgary Flames)
1991: Peter Forsberg (Philadelphia Flyers)
1990: Scott Scissons (New York Islanders)
1989: Adam Bennett (Chicago Blackhawks)
1988: Scott Pearson (Toronto Maple Leafs)
1987: Dave Archibald (Minnesota North Stars)
1986: Vincent Damphousse (Toronto Maple Leafs)
1985: Brad Dalgarno (New York Islanders)
1984: Craig Redmond (Los Angeles Kings)
1983: John MacLean (New Jersey Devils)
1982: Phil Housley (Buffalo Sabres)
1981: Jim Benning (Toronto Maple Leafs)
1980: Paul Coffey (Edmonton Oilers)
1979: Craig Hartsburg (Minnesota North Stars)
1978: Behn Wilson (Philadelphia Flyers)
1977: Doug Wilson (Chicago Blackhawks)
1976: Bjorn Johansson (California Golden Seals)
1975: Don Ashby (Toronto Maple Leafs)
1974: Doug Hicks (Minnesota North Stars)
1973: Andre Savard (Boston Bruins)
1972: Michel Larocque (Montreal Canadiens)
1971: Ron Jones (Boston Bruins)
1970: Chuck Lefley (Montreal Canadiens)
1969: Bob Currier (Philadelphia Flyers)

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